Friday, October 24, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

UCD’s West Sac Prep graduates its first class

By
From page A1 | June 11, 2013 |

When they arrived at West Sacramento Early College Prep Charter School as seventh-graders, the statistics said they had little promise of graduating from high school, much less moving on to higher education.

But on Sunday at Freeborn Hall, 32 historically underserved high school seniors graduated and took their next step in education — advancing to a university, a community college, a trade or vocational school, or the military.

“We are really proud of the success of these students and their accomplishments,” said Harold Levine, dean of the UC Davis School of Education, which launched the charter school in 2007 in partnership with Sacramento City College and the Washington Unified School District. Levine also serves as the charter school’s board president.

“The school, the staff and the faculty have clearly made a difference in these students’ lives,” he said.

Most of these graduates will be the first in their families to attend college; still others have English as their second language. Some of these students struggled with one or more subjects in earlier grades. Now, they boast future plans that include prestigious universities — UC Davis, UCLA, UC Santa Cruz and others.

On Sunday, the were presented a diploma and T-shirts sporting the name of their future institution of higher learning.

West Sac Prep is part of a larger movement, begun a decade ago, to establish “early college” schools throughout the country. The UCD School of Education received $400,000 in 2006 from the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation’s Early College High School Initiative, which helped launch the school.

Nationwide, 50 percent to 70 percent of children of color, or who live in underserved areas, drop out of high school, said Paul Heckman, associate dean of the School of Education and a researcher on school leadership and high school completion issues. Furthermore, the years-of-school completion rates have dropped considerably in the United States in the past 20 years.

The charter school tries to curb this trend by helping students identify questions and interests as they individually learn in a way that works for them, he said.

“Everyone learns differently. That is the approach we take,” said Yolanda Falkenberg, executive director, or principal, at West Sac Prep. Student-designed questions and investigations — undertaken as scientists, historians, and readers and writers, in consultation with their teachers — are a large part of the school’s curriculum.

Students also can enroll in community college courses while still in high school.

One such student, Jonathan Martinez, took a sociology course at Sacramento City College, where he worked on a community youth project.

“I fell in love with the topic,” he said, adding that he was influenced by the professor’s enthusiasm. He has decided to attend UCD next year to major in sociology.

Falkenberg said the community college courses have worked out well, with West Sac Prep students consistently surpassing their college-age peers in their classes by earning primarily A and B grades in their coursework.

Admission to West Sac Prep is open and tuition-free to students in grades six through 12. The school makes it a priority to admit students who do not speak English as their first language; come from low-income families; have traditionally struggled in reading, writing or mathematics; and those who will be the first in their families to go to college.

The school operates as an independent charter school through a nonprofit public-benefit corporation, made up of the school district, community college district and UCD. The school has 171 students.

“We look forward to seeing more graduates in the years to come, and we look forward to the futures of our current class of 2013,” Falkenberg said. “Our students had a dream to go to college, and today is proof that their efforts and perseverance paid off.”

—UC Davis News Service

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

     
    A-Z: Downtown Davis is the place to celebrate

    By Kimberly Yarris | From Page: C1

    Courageous Thompson tapped for cycling shrine

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    UC researchers: How low-water can our landscapes go?

    By Katie F. Hetrick | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Downtown menu: coffee, boba tea, dessert

    By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: C3

    Can you give them a home?

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Scientists work to save endangered desert mammal

    By Kat Kerlin | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    Host families needed for students and teachers from Mexico

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    Halloween Dance set Friday for teens

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Yoga and chanting workshop planned

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Day of the Dead folk art class set

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Flea Market planned Sunday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Red-hot tunes set at Blues Harvest

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Enjoy A Taste of Capay at historic ranch

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Learn how to fill a cornucopia with flowers

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    ‘Homeopathy at Home’ program planned

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Video highlights Props. 1 and 2

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Meet Poppenga at dog park Sunday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Celebrate origami at Davis library

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Garden sale and open house features water-wise demos

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: C4

     
    Bay Bridge art project needs $4 million to keep shining

    By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A5 | Gallery

    Weir honored, a year early

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Americans, internationals make connections

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

    Explorit: Poison-proof your home with free lecture

    By Lisa Justice | From Page: A6

     
    For a good cause

    By Fred Gladdis | From Page: A6

    School board hopefuls discuss homework policy

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A7

     
    Sutter auxiliary seeks volunteers

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

    Walkers welcome to join Sierra Club outings

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    Project Linus seeks donations

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    .

    Forum

    More theories on the abstention

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    Rights beget responsibilities

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    Water returns to its source

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    A solution to the drought

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    Experience nature’s treasures

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    Subs have other concerns

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

    What’s next with Ebola?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    .

    Sports

    Bump, set, playoffs: Blue Devil girls clinch spot in postseason

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Aggies expect a bonny meeting in Sacramento

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

    DHS footballers take on Pleasant Grove

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    Bye No. 2 comes at perfect time for nicked up UCD

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Shhh. Are Aggie women BWC’s best-kept secret?

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

     
    UCD roundup: Preseason awards roll in for Aggie hoopster Hawkins

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Sharks suffer from road woes

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

     
    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    ‘St. Vincent:’ Quite a character

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery

     
    Rumpledethumps to play at Village Homes Performers’ Circle

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11 | Gallery

    DMTC plans ‘My Fair Lady’

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

     
    Czech Philharmonic Orchestra to perform

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

    Calling all artists for upcoming show

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

     
    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    Lewis Melvin Dudman

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Ann Foley Scheuring

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Friday, October 24, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B3